See President Obama talk about AGCHC as he awards $4.9 million grant to help fund the new AGCHC headquarters.
Avis Goodwin Community Health Center (AGCHC) has been serving the health care needs of Strafford County and surrounding communities for forty years. The agency started providing prenatal care to women in 1969 and since then has expanded and now provides fully integrated medical, mental and oral health care to all in our community. As the need has increased, so have AGCHC’s facilities. Currently in four locations (23,300 square feet), three clinical and one administrative are all within 12 miles of each other.
All of the locations are at capacity and despite the growing need in the community; AGCHC cannot add any additional providers at their current locations. Three of the eight medical providers are no longer accepting new patients. Bathrooms have been converted into medication closets and medication closets into offices. The most recent and final conversion of space was combining an office and a bathroom in order to make room for an additional mental health provider.
AGCHC is in the process of obtaining approvals for a 29,000 square foot building, centrally located and on the public bus route in Somersworth. Not only will this allow the agency to hire two additional medical providers and add a sixth operatory accommodating approximately 3,000 new patients, but by consolidating the four locations into one, AGCHC will save over $200,000 annually.
As true for most Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), AGCHC has patched together various sources of funding to accomplish this goal. A large part of the funding could potentially come from the Facilities Improvement Program established through ARRA funding. The grant submitted requested $4.97 million or almost 80% of the total project costs. AGCHC was fortunate enough to receive appropriations money two years ago that has supported the design, engineering and site work for the project.